England greats Anderson, Broad doubtful for second India Test

By: AFP      Published: 07:34 PM, 11 Aug, 2021
England greats Anderson, Broad doubtful for second India Test

England could be without their two leading bowlers for this week's second Test against India at Lord's after James Anderson joined Stuart Broad in missing Wednesday's final pre-match practice session.

Broad suffered a calf problem after pulling up during Tuesday's warm-up and a thigh injury prevented Anderson taking part in Wednesday's net session.

The veteran new-ball duo, who both featured in last week's drawn series opener at Trent Bridge, are England's two most successful Test bowlers of all time with Anderson having taken 621 wickets and Broad 524.

England have not played a Test without either one of the pair since October 2016 and it is nine years since they both missed one on home soil -- six months before current captain Joe Root made his Test debut.

The only survivor from that match still left in the England squad is Jonny Bairstow, who told reporters on the eve of the first day: "It would be a big loss, naturally, because they've got over a thousand Test wickets between them."

Anderson and Broad's injuries are bound to leave the England and Wales Cricket Board facing fresh questions over a domestic fixture schedule which left both bowlers short of match practice heading into a showpiece series in the absence of red-ball county cricket. 

Nevertheless, Yorkshire batsman Bairstow added: "I don't think it's too much of a destabiliser to be honest. 

"I think with the nature of professional sport there is going to be injuries at times, there is going to be illness, it can happen overnight and you've got to be adaptable within the group.

"It's potentially a loss but with that comes an opportunity for other people. When we've seen that previously in the summer, in the Pakistan series, there were opportunities that arose for other people coming in and they rose to those challenges."

Bairstow was referring to a one-day series where England won 3-0 despite having to select an entirely new squad following a Covid-19 outbreak within their camp.

Lancashire quick Saqib Mahmood, uncapped at Test level but added to the squad on Wednesday, was the star of that campaign with nine wickets.

Mahmood, 24, is the second additional call-up to the England squad following the inclusion of off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Mahmood now joins Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Craig Overton and all-rounder Sam Curran in vying for a place in England's pace attack.

England, who are still without two all-rounders in Ben Stokes, taking an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health issues, and the injured Chris Woakes, may make several changes for to a side that was largely outplayed in a rain-affected clash in Nottingham -- the first of a five-match series.

Nottinghamshire batsman Haseeb Hameed could force his way into a top three where both Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have been struggling.

Opening batsman Sibley took a laborious 203 balls to score 46 runs at Trent Bridge, while Crawley averages just 11 in Test cricket this year.

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